The CDC and Hennepin County Health Department recently released statistics that show the number of STDs reported annually are rising, and have been for the past twenty years. This includes the county and Minneapolis metro area.
While Gonorrhea rates have remained relatively stable, after spiking in 2008, the same cannot be said for the other commonly transmitted sexual diseases. Chlamydia rates are increasing at an alarming rate and over 70 percent of the new cases reported occur in women ages 18 to 24. African American females account for the majority of new cases, but this does not mean that everyone isn’t equally at risk.
After dropping slightly in 2011 the number of Syphilis cases has almost doubled in the metro area. This is especially alarming to some health officials who had mistakenly believed that this sexually transmitted disease was well under control. It is not only teens and young adults that are testing positive more often for Syphilis at any stage, but residents over the age of 25 are accounting for the majority of the new cases.
The recent statistics also show that the number of HIV cases reported each year is also rising. While African American men account for a large number of the new cases reported annually this potentially deadly disease can be contracted by anyone, regardless of sexual activity or preference. Some of the other statistics residents should be aware of include,
- In 2015 there were 1,071 cases of Gonorrhea reported in the metro area.
- There were 6,763 new cases of Chlamydia reported in 2015, with the majority occurring in females ages 20 to 24.
- Men ages 25 to 29 accounted for 41 of the 68 cases of Syphilis in the metro area, according to 2015 statistics.
Like all other states Minnesota does follow federal mandates that state all public school systems must provide students with age appropriate and medically accurate information pertaining to HIV and STDs. State law also requires school districts that do offer sex education classes use curriculum that stress the importance and advantages of practicing abstinence.
While abstinence is the most effective way to prevent unplanned pregnancies, it does little to stop the spread of STDs since the diseases can be contracted through a variety of methods. Studies have also shown that abstinence based curriculums do very little to discourage teens from having sex. These same studies report that students are having sex at a younger age, and that the majority of graduating seniors have engaged in it at least once.
Since students are not receiving the information they need to adequately protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases, their chances of contracting a STD while they are still in high school is dramatically increased. This is one of the reasons that regular Herpes testing in Bloomington is so important. Most health officials agree that it is the best way to prevent the virus from continuing to spread through area high schools.
Regular HIV testing in Bloomington is also important, especially since the number of new cases reported annually is rising. Even the limited information that students receive in sex education stresses the importance of being tested regularly for this potentially deadly disease.
The lack of comprehensive sex education in the city’s public schools is one of the main contributing factors to the rising STD rates, but it is certainly not the only one. This suburb is located only a few miles away from the state capitol and this is affecting the area’s STD rates. The majority of residents work and play in the capitol, and many simply do not realize that this could be exposing them to sexually transmitted diseases. This is also due to the lack of available information on how these viruses can be spread.
It is not uncommon for a sexually transmitted disease to not display immediate signs or symptoms, and many people simply do not feel the need to get tested if they do not think that they have contracted a sexually transmitted disease. This is especially true for Chlamydia, Syphilis and HIV where the symptoms can take weeks to appear. During this time it is easy to transmit the disease to others without even realizing it.
Residents in this suburb are also finding it difficult to locate a STI clinic near them. The majority of testing facilities are in the downtown area, and residents can typically expect to find crowded waiting rooms and long lines. It can be difficult for many people to find the time to spend the day at the clinic, and most would rather take a chance that there is nothing wrong with their sexual health.
Before you head off for a fun filled day of shopping or cool off of Water Park of America it is important to take a few minutes to think about your sexual health. The number of STDs reported each year in the community is rising, and this means that everyone needs to get tested on a regular basis. It is understandable if you don’t want to spend the day waiting in a long line, and now there is an easier way to take care of your sexual health. With one simple phone call you can schedule confidential STD testing, and only spend a few minutes at a conveniently located lab.